The Emperor’s Mirror



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‘Dr Bhaskara Rao has been India’s pre-eminent public opinion analyst and a pioneer in social audit and countrywide surveys…[His] deep analysis will lead to new solutions that can improve the quality of research at all stages.’—Dr R.A. Mashelkar, former Director, CSIR, and recipient of the Padma Vibhushan

‘Independent and transparent research is vital for good governance. It can even safeguard against bad governments,’ writes Dr N. Bhaskara Rao, a pioneer in social research and countrywide surveys. In this book, backed by over five decades of experience, he then goes on to show how such research has declined in India from the golden period of the first few decades after Independence.

He tracks the turns that social and policy research has taken over the last 70 years—slipping from a position of rare professional integrity and credibility to a worrying low in both role and status. The reasons, he shows—all of them inter-related—are the preoccupation of recent political regimes with polarization and populism, the egotism of powerful leaders, majoritarian trends in society and politics, lack of financial independence or immoderate pursuit of profit and corporate agendas. If this trend is not reversed, he argues, research could become irrelevant and even dangerously misleading, thus undermining our well-being as a nation.

Timely, insightful, full of scores of concrete examples and informed by extraordinary professionalism and commitment to democracy, this is an essential book for everyone concerned with India and its all-round, inclusive development.

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ImprintSpeaking Tiger


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